Drug-testing may help tackle school violence, says Gauteng education

The Gauteng Education Department says that drug-testing may help curb the levels of ill-discipline and violence at schools.

The department's Steve Mabona says that drug-testing from Grade 8 could help address the prevalent problem of substance abuse among learners.

It's more of ill-discipline, there is drug consumption prevailing in school.

Steve Mabona, Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson

There's an influence of drugs and ill-discipline.

Steve Mabona, Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson

He explains that instead of expelling problem pupils, schools should provide support and rehabilitation programmes for children affected by substance abuse.

Read: The issue of drugs has taken over our schools - Panyaza Lesufi

The Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools Fedsas says substance abuse is a serious problem which is evident as early as primary school.

Fedsas CEO Paul Colditz explains that schools will only be able to administer drug tests to learners already enrolled at their in school.

He adds that more attention needs to be given to children from dysfunctional households and urged adults to role-model better behaviour for impressionable children.

Also: Community support is needed to fight drugs in schools - Professor Mary Metcalfe

Saps spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini says that when police conduct random searches and raids, they often seize drugs and weapons from pupils.

Mabona says parents, educators and school governing bodies (SGBs) all need to work together to address the issue.

He maintains that the department cannot resolve the issue without collaboration with parents and other stakeholders.

We need to be in a position to assist as parents, we cannot transfer the responsibility of parenting to teachers. Let's play a role.

Steve Mabona, Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson

Listen to them explore the contributing factors to violence among school kids and what can be done:

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